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Carter's new hostage crisis

Jimmy Carter wants the Guantanamo Bay detention facility closed down. The Associated Press reports:

Former President Carter on Tuesday called for the United States to shut down the Guantanamo Bay prison to demonstrate its commitment to human rights.

"The U.S. continues to suffer terrible embarrassment and a blow to our reputation... because of reports concerning abuses of prisoners in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo," Carter said after a two-day human rights conference at his Atlanta center.
It would be ironic indeed if Carter, who spectacularly failed to free Americans being held by Islamic militants, managed to free Islamic militants being held by Americans.


Anonymous said...

That would indeed be an illustration of the world turned upside down. 

Posted by rosh

Anonymous said...

Looking at President Carter's statement logically, then Iran should have suffered terrible embarrassment and a blow to its reputation when it held the American hostages who were seized when the American embassy was invaded. As I remember, Iran was celebrated in the Middle East for holding the Americans hostage.

Maybe Mr. Carter is unaware of a key difference between 1979 and today - our people were "taken" on American soil, the terrorists being held in Gitmo were captured on the battlefield.

At least President Reagan realized he was suffereing from Alzheimer's and made the decision to remain out of the public eye to avoid attratcing attention to himself and becoming an embarrassment to the nation.


Posted by Hornet

Anonymous said...

I can't help but to feel Carter is a good man and he is ,after all, part of the greatest generation that served America with honor and brought unprecedented stability and prosperity to Europe and Asia.

But I know exactly when I realized that Carter was better off building houses and gentleman farming.

My Liberian girlfriend and I went to hear a speech of his where he boasted happily about bringing together factions at war in that country. "Prince Johnson and Charles Taylor are at the table of peace," he said. Johnson was the guy who dissected alive President Doe (who himself used to bury his enemy's children alive). Taylor is the now alQueda affiliate currently on the run in Nigeria having completely decimated his country, turing hi army of 13 year olds loose on the population, a quarter of a million of whom have been murdered in the last decade. Those were Carter's partners of peace. I don't think even Arafat ever cut up a man alive and videotaped it like Johnson.

Carter did, to his credit, admonish Amnesty International for the "gulag" comparison. Lets give him that. 

Posted by tokyobk

Anonymous said...

The problem with Gitmo isn't that alleged Islamic militants are being held there.

It's that the detainees are being denied their human rights under transparently cynical interpretations of loopholes in U.S. and international law.

The American idea is that human rights are not bestowed by courts or international conventions but are a universal endowment that belongs to all people, including suspected Islamic militants.

The American people will no longer allow the denial of human rights at Guantanomo. Led by people like former President Carter, they understand that it is unAmerican to deny suspects legal representation, speedy trials and fair jury trials. Americans know that some suspects released from Guantanomo were found to be completely innocent, as is the case as well with some prisoners held.
In some other countries, like China, the view is that human rights must take a back seat to security concern. Trial by jury, the necessity of legal representation and the right to remain silent are considered "niceties'' that are bestowed at the government's pleasure. Americans know better. The U.S. has a long, proud history of insisting on fairness and justice, even when it causes short-term pain. That's because Americans are mature enough, educated enough and wise enough to see that in the long run, respect for human rights makes a society stronger, not weaker. 

Posted by bunkerbuster

Anonymous said...

Carter seems to be on the wrong side of just about everything when it comes to politics. I can't remember the last time Carter said something I agree with. 

Posted by gindy

Anonymous said...

So we should just let them (alleged Islamic militants) go since we have no evidence against them right? I guess shooting at our military on the battlefield doesn't justify locking them up even though they're unlawful combatants . It's only "fair" that they get legal representation, at U.S. taxpayers expense, of course.

What human rights are being "denied"? Do we have torture chambers and rape rooms? Wait, that was Iraq. Are they not being fed or bathed. Are they not recieving lawyers at U.S. taxpayers expense? Thank the Supreme Court for that one.  Are they not recieving Korans from the American taxpayer? What happened to the U.S. govt. NOT supporting religion?-(seperation of church and state) Or is that just Christianity? What are they not recieving that falls under human rights denial? 

Posted by Chris K

Anonymous said...

Chris K asks: "What human rights are being denied.'' Another reason America is a great country is that it has a very long tradition of guaranteeing something called a writ of habeas corpus, in which a person held captive by the government may take action to challenge the legality of his detention.

As the supreme court has pointed out in the Rasul decision, this is a very old right, referenced by the Constitution itself, enshrined in a 1789 U.S. statute predating the Bill of Rights, and before that dating back for centuries in the common law tradition the United States shares with Britain (the common law generally having formed a part of U.S. law unless and until it has been displaced in whole or in part by the Constitution or by statute).

In its recent decision on Guantanamo, the court quoted a 1953 opinion by Justice Robert Jackson:

Executive imprisonment has been considered oppressive and lawless since John, at Runneymede, pledged that no free man should be imprisoned, dispossessed, outlawed, or exiled save by the judgment of his peers or by the law of the land.

Americans won't allow Guantanamo to become synonymous with human rights violations. That's why so many are demanding not that all detainees be released immediately, but that all detainees be granted due process, for example, be charged with a crime, or released.

That Chris K doesn't know what rights are being violated in Gitmo is compelling evidence that the U.S. news media is undereporting these events. There has been an awful lot of whining on this blog about how the media dwells on allegations of Bush administration wrongdoing. If that's the case, why are people like Chris K completely unaware of the legal travesty at Gitmo?

Actually, I suspect Chris K, like the president, doesn't read newspapers.

Posted by bunkerbuster

Anonymous said...

I think Bunkerbuster is advocating that every person captured in a war zone, while in the act of attempting to kill U.S. service personnel, should be accorded all of the rights available to persons accused of a civil crime.

I'd call that the "Attorney Full Employment" strategy.

If the U.S. military cannot be defeated on the battlefield, then it can be hindered in the courtroom by requiring all combat personnel spend most of their time in answereing interrogatories, being deposed, and appearing as witnesses.

Maybe I'm strange, but I'd like to win this WOT becasue I like the 21st Century and do not want to live in the 11th Century.

As to the President not reading newspapers (e.g. being too stupid to comprehend), remember this "functionally illiterate" POTUS had grades slighty better than the "Master of Nuance and Thoughtful Statesmanship" did at Yale. Did you ever watch "Columbo" or read Sun-Tzu? 

Posted by Hornet

Anonymous said...

Hornet's suggestion that Islamofascists may somehow bring America back to the 7th century shows just how little faith he has in the power of American ideals and institutions.

It's not surprising then, that he would spit in the face of generations of Americans who have bled to defend the idea that human rights are not bestowed by the government to people who meet certain conditions, but are INALIENABLE. Since its founding, America has stood for the idea that human rights belong to all people, period.

What would cause Hornet to have so little faith in the power of freedom and the resliance, maturity and truthfulness of the American people? What would drive him to suggest that, somehow, the Islamofascist ideology is a credible rival? Hornet holds America in so little regard, he's willing to suggest now that a handful of suicidal assholes pose a significant threat to the survival of the greatest military power ever known to man. What could drive him to this state of mind?

And.... the point about Bush boasting that he doesn't read newspaper isn't at all that he's functionally illiterate. No one seriously believes Bush can't read. The problem is that Bush uses his disdain for knowledge and learning as a selling point. We can see that Hornet has bought into it, hook, line and sinker. (Maybe that's why he holds America in such great disdain that he considers the Islamofascists significant rivals.)

And what's worse, a president who's plain dumb, or one who feels he has to feign stupidity to get people like Hornet to vote for him?

And while we're on the subject, I happened to catch Bush on CNN referring to people who ``are trained to disassemble, that means lie.''

I'm dying to hear an explanation of what could possibly cause a plain-spoken yet wise person to say something like that. That W just had to add, "that means lie,'' when he obviously is only partly familiar with the word, since he misstates it, shows just what he's made of

Here's a theory that fits: W's estimatation of his own knowledge relative to that of the average CNN viewer is the inverse of reality. Bush is no humble sage of few but heartfelt words. He's a disdainful dilettante that trades on resentment of intellectual achievement and stirs self-hatred in those who can least need that kind of stimulation.

And by the way, Hornet: I think you want i.e., for id est, or ``in other words,'' not e.g. which means "for example.'' Did you ever see "Get Shorty"?


Posted by bunkerbuster

Anonymous said...

Bunky likes to make 'straw man' arguments.

My point was that illegal combatants captured on the battlefield should not be given ALL of the rights in the Geneva Convention for lawful combatants.

Before 9-11 there was a joke among members of A-Q - that the American response to any attack would be in a courtroom. Now, we are going to see A-Q combatants in court.

I think that this is a great country. I also read history. Freedom has never, nor will it ever be free.

As to my use of e.g. and not i.e., it was deliberate, it was intentional and not subject to change. Being unable or unwilling to read newspapers could be one indicator of a person's intelligence. There are other indicators that could indicate whether a person is brilliant or stupid - some could be mutually exclusive, some could contradictory, and some could be corroborating.

Besides, I prefer to learn by reading great literature and other works, not by watching movies or cartoons.

I will avoid commenting on the rest of Bunky's descent into Al Franken style smarmyness. Isn't his decade over?


Posted by Hornet

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the Carter administration's attempt to free the hostages was poorly planned or executed. But it was far better than what the Reagan administration did when it was its turn to deal with a similar--though much smaller scale, situation. Reagan gave the hostage-takers high-tech missiles! Reagan's trading of arms for hostages was among the few and certainly the dastardliest case of appeasement in American history. U.S. credibility suffered badly for that.

If a Democrat had done anything like that, you can be sure any Democratic candidate for high public office would be tarred anew with the "appeaser'' epithet. As it is, Reagan is case in the mainstream media as some kind of tough-guy statesman instead of the appeasing liar he was.

After that little arms-for-hostages episode, it should have surprised no one that the Reagan/Bush administration defended Saddam Hussein from Democratic attempts to impose sanctions on his regime after he used poison gas against Kurdish villagers.

Nor would it be any surprise that the U.S. supported the likes of bin Laden in Afghanistan, before abandoning the country to the Taliban once it ceased to be politically useful to Cold War mongers.

Posted by bunkerbuster



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